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In Die Welt,  a German newspaper there was a story about a new variety of concrete which is seeded with microorganisms that will actually remove organic waste from water.  Time to place an order?

 Below the fold is my (very rough) translation of the piece linked to above:

In Die Welt,  a German newspaper there was a story about a new variety of concrete which is seeded with microorganisms that will actually remove organic waste from water.  Time to place an order?

 Below is my (very rough) translation of the piece linked to above:

It stinks like rotten cheese, and besides Japan, the Germans first cultivated Natto during the Second World War, on their submarines.  Natto is a slimy mixture of fermented soybeans that the Japanese for centuries have polished off for breakfast.  With the help of the hungry but resistant Natto bacteria, Japanese reseachers have now developed a concrete which sustainably converts smelly sewers and stinking streams into clear water.
ewässer verwandelt.

   Foto: Marubeni/Kölling Beton aus Japan verwandelt stinkende Flüsse in klare Gewässer      Foto: Marubeni/Kölling Beton aus Japan verwandelt stinkende Flüsse in klare Gewässer

The firm Koyoh has now employed this development in Yanagawa, a city with a dead, black, stinking creek. Now in just two weeks the bacteria saturated concrete disapateed the smell and in two months the water was again clear and good enough for carp. This piece of technology was produced by nature over the ages, and through cultivation yields high capacity bacteria which can consume or even produce oil.  However, the Natto-bacteria have long served as a living water filter. Fish farmers and aquarium owners shake them in as a powder to reduce turbidity.

The new discovery of the researchers from Koyoh consists of this, the Natto-bacteria can be processed with a variety fo concrete, which for years, if not decades has served as a breeding site.   No one will need to sprinkle the Natto powder.

"A method which also works in flowing water," according to Sachiko Kobayashi, the manager of the petrochemical division of Japan's second largest trading company, Marubeni whose duties include the international operations.

The capability of nature through the bacterialy charged concrete to assist in the repurification of a source, should not be underrated.  Almost all attempts failed, since most bacteria lose their appetite in the alkaline environment of concrete.  In the Koyoh patent application, the bacteria of the eco-cement, that is Bacillus subtilis (Hay bacteria), Bacillus thuringiensis, and bacillus sphaeris, survive both the alkaline conditions and heat very well.  Thus they are well suited to working into concrete.

For a label for the bacterial water filter the Japanese reached deep into Greek mythology: Gaia Healing Project, appears in the sales catalog, named for the goddess Gaia, who in antiquity embodied the earth.

The bacterialy infused concrete is marketed by Marubeni as "EcoBio-Block" in diverse porous large grained concrete forms, cylindrical for aquariums and fishtanks, stonelike for lakes and water tanks, or as rippled tiles for canals and streams.

It works this way: on contact with water, the hungry bacteria search out food.  In doing so, the ferment organic matter, and convert ammonia into nitrite and then nitrate.  This nitrification is an important part of the purification of water.  And even better, a shortage of nitrate is an environmental risk.  The unicellular creatures are nearly indestructible, surviving both freezing and boiling water.  If the water tempurature is below 10 degrees Celsius, they become inactive.

In application, certain conditions must be observed, that not too much mud or leaves cover the tiles , says Kobayashi.  The bacteria require oxygen.  In light of the water pollution in Russia, and also in Asia's ecologically challenged developing countries, Marubeni expects good business.  In standing water, Kobayashi the manager recommends putting three blocks per cubic meter of water.  In canals or streams, once piece of Natto-concrete every ten meters.

Originally posted to DrJohnB on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 07:58 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)

    Republican Family values like the Platte River, a mile wide and six inches deep.

    by DrJohnB on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 07:58:13 AM PDT

  •  Sure beats throwing golf balls at it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn, atlliberal, catwho

    or any of the other things they have attempted.

  •  The amount of concrete they'd need (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, DrJohnB

    is going to be so huge, that if they put in an order for it now, it might be ready to go by they time the plug up the well.

    That said, I'm not sure if natto-bacteria can handle crude oil. Raw sewage is more bio-available than crude, and while I don't think it'll kill off the natto bacteria, they might be overwhelmed by it.

    (I don't like natto.  I like a lot of Japanese food, but natto is where I draw the line.)

    You say you want your country back. I'd like my country forward, thank you.

    by catwho on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 08:36:21 AM PDT

    •  I must admit ignorance (0+ / 0-)

      regarding the bio-availability of petroleum vs sewage.  But it does seem like it's time for lateral thinking where remediation of the Gulf is concerned.

      Republican Family values like the Platte River, a mile wide and six inches deep.

      by DrJohnB on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 10:54:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  DrJohnB coming from an agricultural (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sc kitty

    region, nitrates in our streams from fertilizer runoff cause algae bloom then loss of oxygen in trout and salmon streams.

    Does the process require oxygen depletion?  It seems no matter what happens sooner or later bacteria which digest oil and its by products will cause dead zones from oxygen depletion.  The length of time this occurs will matter.

    Maybe this ingredient would speed up the process.

    Great catch and nice diary. Thank you for the research and translation.

    "Never, desist till we ... extinguish this bloody traffic, of which our posterity, will scarce believe that it suffered a disgrace and dishonor to this country.

    by Regina in a Sears Kit House on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 09:26:21 AM PDT

    •  Don't know about oxygen depletion (0+ / 0-)

      Since the text indicates the bacteria need oxygen to function, I guess it might be an issue.  If the bricks were placed in the surf zone, there would be natural replenishment of oxygen.
      Thanks for the compliment.  

      Republican Family values like the Platte River, a mile wide and six inches deep.

      by DrJohnB on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 10:56:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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